How to Improve Paintball Gun Accuracy | 7 Tips to Shoot Straight

how to improve paintball gun accuracy

There’s no doubt that playing paintball can be a lot of fun. However, it tends to be a lot more fun when you can actually hit what you’re aiming at. If you’ve ever had one of those days where your paintballs seem to fly everywhere except for where you want them too then you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

So what can you do to improve the accuracy of your paintball gun? 

For starters, there’s a good chance that your accuracy problem has more to do with the paintballs you’re shooting than the paintball gun itself. If the paintballs are oblong shaped and covered with dimples then you’re going to have a hard time getting them to fly in a straight line. 

Now, if the problem isn’t your paintballs then there could be a variety of reasons why your marker isn’t shooting straight. It could be that your paintball barrel is poorly honed, or that your paintballs are a bad fit for the bore size of your barrel, or maybe there’s too much paint, oil, and debris in your marker, loader, barrel, or pods and it’s interfering with your accuracy.

Let’s find out what the cause is for your lack of accuracy below.

How to Increase the Accuracy Of Your Paintball Gun

There’s a common misconception that some paintball guns are more accurate than others. Let me start off by saying that this isn’t true. 

Sure, some paintball guns are going to be more consistent and therefore more accurate (shot per shot) than other paintball guns, but no marker is going to be vastly superior in accuracy than any other.  

At the end of the day, all paintball guns essentially function the same way. A concentrated burst of compressed air (or Co2) is propelled into the breach of the marker and out of the barrel. This means if all variables are the same (i.e. same paintballs, barrel, and propellant) then your paintball gun should shoot as accurately as any other paintball marker available.

And if your paintball gun isn’t shooting as accurately as it should be, it’s more than likely going to be one of the problems listed below. Hopefully, these tips will help you improve the accuracy of your paintball gun so you can shoot straighter and get more eliminations. 

Use Higher Quality Paintballs

The best way to increase the accuracy of your paintball gun is to use higher-quality paintballs. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to use the most expensive paintballs you can find, but I’d at least recommend avoiding the cheapest paintballs available as they’re probably going to be low-quality. 

The problem with low-quality paintballs is they’re typically covered in dimples and other imperfections. These imperfections are going to ruin your overall accuracy and possibly cause a ball chop or barrel break.

I would also avoid using any old or improperly stored paintballs as they’re more than likely going to be highly misshapen as well. Here’s a post I wrote that will teach you how long paintballs last and how to store them properly.

Use the Correct Bore Size Barrel

The next step to increasing the accuracy of your paintball gun is to use the correct bore size barrel to match your paintballs. 

Now, there are a few different ways you can go about this. You can either underbore, overbore, or do what’s called a paint-to-bore match. This is where you match the bore size of your paintballs to the bore size of your barrel. 

Pro Tip: You can find out the bore size of your barrel by dropping a paintball down your barrel and seeing if it gets stuck. If the paintball gets stuck but can be blown out with a small breath of air then you have matched the bore size of your paintballs to the bore size of your barrel. Otherwise known as a paint-to-bore match.

Most players believe having a paint-to-bore match is the most effective way to increase the accuracy of your paintball gun, but there has been some controversy on whether underboring or overboring is better for optimal accuracy. Underboring is when the paintball barrel is under the bore size of your paintballs, and overboring is when your barrel is over the bore size of your paintballs.

Click here to learn more about paintball barrels and bore sizing.

Use HPA Instead of Co2

Still using Co2 to power your paintball gun? 

Switching to HPA (High Pressure Air) is a great way to improve your overall accuracy as it provides a much more consistent output pressure when compared to Co2. This is because HPA is simply compressed air in a tank, whereas Co2 is a liquid that transforms into a gas whenever the marker is fired. 

Since HPA is nothing but compressed air, it’s much cleaner and a lot less volatile than Co2. This means it will give you greater consistency and therefore greater accuracy. If you want to learn more about the advantages of CO2 over HPA then check out my post on Co2 vs HPA

Upgrade Your Barrel

Depending on which paintball gun you own, upgrading your barrel can either be a huge upgrade, a small upgrade, or not an upgrade at all. This is because most paintball guns already come with a quality stock barrel right out of the box. The only exception being entry-level paintball markers such as those from Tippmann, Spyder, etc. 

You can tell the quality of a paintball barrel by inspecting the honing on the inside to see if it’s rough or smooth. If the honing on the inside of the barrel is as smooth as a baby’s bottom then it’s a quality paintball barrel. However, if the honing on the inside of the barrel is rough and full of burrs and/or metal splinters then you can expect a decrease in accuracy and lots of barrel breaks. 

These low-quality stock paintball barrels are often on the short side as well and come with a low amount of porting. This means upgrading your paintball barrel will also reduce your sound signature as well as improve the aesthetics of your paintball gun.

Now, if you have a mid-range to high-end paintball marker then it’s unlikely that upgrading your barrel will lead to a huge increase in accuracy. However, if the bore size of your barrel is a bad match for the bore size of your paintballs then you’re going to see a decrease in accuracy. 

Your only two options are to either purchase a one-piece or two-piece paintball barrel with a bigger or smaller bore size, or to purchase a paintball barrel kit with a variety of bore size options to choose from.

Clean Your Paintball Gear Correctly

Failure to properly clean your paintball gun, loader, and barrel is one of the major reasons that some paintball guns “suddenly” begin to lose their accuracy. This is because dirt, grime, oil, and leftover paint residue are interfering with the paintballs as they travel into the breach of your marker and out the barrel.

To properly clean your paintball gun you’ll need to actually take it apart so you can wipe away any nasty gunk residing in your breach. Once you’ve removed all the dirt, oil, and paint from the breach of your marker then you can add oil where oil needs to be added and replace any O-rings that need to be replaced.

You should also deep-clean the inside of your barrel, loader, and even your pods with hot water to remove any excess oil that’s built up over time. The best way to clean your paintball barrel is to soak it in hot water mixed with a small amount of dish soap for around 5-10 minutes and then rinse it off with hot water until all of the soap residues are removed. Once the barrel is perfectly clean then you can dry it out with a clean squeegee and you’re good to go!

To clean your loader is a similar process, except you first have to remove the shell of your loader from the electronics before you can soak it with hot water. Or you can just wipe off the inside of your loader with a wet cloth or paper towel and call it a day. 

Pods are pretty self-explanatory. Just let them soak in a combination of hot water and dish soap and rinse them off after about 5-10 minutes of soaking. 

Use a Clean Squeegee 

Are your paintballs flying all over the place yet you can’t figure out why? If so, then you may want to take a look at how you’re cleaning your barrel. If you’re using a barrel swab (the fuzzy kind of squeegee) when you can only clean your barrel once or twice before you’re just smearing paint, dirt, and grime all over the inside of your barrel.

And if the inside of your barrel is covered in paint and debris then your chances of shooting accurately are slim to none. For this reason, you may want to invest in a couple of extra barrel swabs and at least one rubber squeegee for those days where your paintballs, barrel, or marker doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. 

Make Sure Everything Functions Correctly

The last step to making your paintball gun as accurate as possible is to make sure everything inside of your marker is functioning correctly. If you suddenly notice your velocity beginning to fluctuate more than normal then you may have a faulty regulator that needs to be fixed or replaced.

Fortunately, it’s typically easy to notice when most paintball guns begin to malfunction. If everything seems to be working correctly then chances are you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure to clean your marker regularly, apply grease and oil when it’s needed, and replace your O-rings when they need to be replaced. 

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Woodsball player, magfed player, automag owner, paintball sniper. Have played woodsball and scenario paintball (on and off) since 2007 and still loving the game!


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